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Re: Fashion Note: now sago

I get ya. My thoughts are these.

First, the plant is not a palm. It's a cycad. Big difference, Kitty. No way could one cut a true palm back to a nub and not kill it.

But cycads are very different and this one is under attack. Any plant wants to survive [more intensely, incidentally, than we want it to survive because its sexual future is in its survival but ours is not]. So the best thing we can do for any plant or this plant is to remove threats to its survival.

With sagos, this is easy. They have survived zillions of years by toughing it out. And there is an enormous repository of vegetative vigor in those stems; once entrenched, they are close to kill proof. So cut off the infected fronds and let it re-create itself.

This may not be a good strategy for coleus or orange trees, however.

On Monday, December 15, 2003, at 06:43 PM, Kitty wrote:

What you suggested about cutting back to a bald stump on a palm...
Many gardeners, new and long-time, seem to really fear, dread, begrudge
cutting anything off. And often, as you pointed out here, that's the best
thing you can do. When I see a houseplant looking good but for a few yellow
leaves, I wonder, "does she actually think they might turn green again?". I
read once that leaving a bad leaf on a plant doesn't help the plant at all.
If anything it wastes the plant's energy and possibly harbors a problem that
will jump to the healthy leaves. Get rid of it! And pruning is often a
signal to the plant to put out new growth - new healthy growth. I'll admit
though to just cutting off bad parts of leaves if there are very few leaves.
I tend to think I should leave something to conduct photosynthesis, to build
more energy for the plant. So, I would have trouble with the idea of
cutting to a bald stump, too. I guess sometimes you have to be cruel to be
kind ;+)


----- Original Message -----
From: "james singer" <jsinger@igc.org>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Monday, December 15, 2003 5:56 PM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Fashion Note: now sago

If you want to quit spraying it, Bonnie, just cut the fronds off. It
will probably put out a flush of new ones... and they will likely be
scale-free. I think it's old enough to take that kind of shock in
stride. That, incidentally, is how we have treated some of the very
large ones at the nursery. If the infestation was really bad and the
fronds began to turn brown, we cut them all off [bald stump], sprayed
the trunk to kill any scale that might be hiding there, and fertilized
the stump with osmocote. They all came back free of scale.

Man, this cold [don't laugh, northern persons] is really beginning to
annoy me. About 60 degrees today with a north wind. An office chum, who
is new to the area from another part of Florida, leased a beach house
that is neither insulated nor heated. Every morning she looks like a
smurf with red hair.

On Sunday, December 14, 2003, at 04:27 PM, William Morgan wrote:

Now I'm trying to find room somewhere near light (away from a vent, of
course) for my throatwort and a new little hibiscus. I think I caught
Sago Palm's "bugs" too late as it is starting to brown. I'm still
spraying it on the off chance it will recover once the infestation is

Island Jim
Southwest Florida
Zone 10

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Island Jim
Southwest Florida
Zone 10

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